FOUNDATION FOR POTTSTOWN EDUCATION RECEIVES FUNDING TO SUPPORT SENSORY FRIENDLY MUSICAL PERFORMANCE

The Foundation for Pottstown Education recently received funding which will provide free tickets for local students with special needs and their families to attend the first ever Sensory Friendly Performance of the Pottstown School District performance of Suessical the Musical.  The funding is being provided through the generosity of a Community Wellness Grant from the Pottstown Hospital Tower Health, the Pottstown chapter of AMBUCS and Mr. and Mrs. Aram Ecker.

On Thursday, March 5th the Pottstown School District will present a special showing of this year’s musical. This will be a Sensory Friendly performance that is designed especially for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities, or other disabilities. Patrons will enjoy the show together with family and friends in a welcoming, inclusive, and relaxed space. The show will also have an interpreter for individuals with hearing impairments.

Environmental conditions will be modified by maintaining a low-level house lighting in case guests must get up and move around, by eliminating harsh changes in theatrical lighting, through the avoidance of large sound and visual effects, and by the replacement of the 22 piece orchestra with two keyboards. House rules will be relaxed so that audience members can freely respond to shows in their own way and without judgment. They will be welcome to move around, get up, sing, or dance. 

Tickets may be obtained by contacting the Foundation’s Executive Director, Joe Rusiewicz jrusiewicz@pottstownk12.org or by contacting the District’s Special Education Department at 610-970-6625.  Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Casey Fenoglio, Community Wellness Program Manager from the Pottstown Hospital Tower Health, stated that “Funding this event aligns with the community’s need to improve the health of all of our community members.  Partnering with the Foundation and the School District in making this musical accessible to students can help with social inclusion, stress reducing and creating a positive emotional experience.”

Aram Ecker, who is a member of the Pottstown AMBUCS stated that “They are proud to partner with the Foundation as it aligns with our organization’s mission of inspiring people to conquer challenges related to mobility and independence.”  Aram and his wife Donna are longtime supporters of the musical program in the Pottstown School District.

Rusiewicz indicated that when he first heard of this performance for the children of the district, he knew that the Foundation needed to support the program.  “I think that this is such a great opportunity to include all of our local students.  I applaud Bob Decker, Chris Sperat, the actors and stage crew for making this event happen.”

The District Musical is being held on Friday evenings starting at 7:00 on February 28 and March 6, with matinee programs starting at 2:00 on Saturday February 29 and March 7 as well as Sundays March 1 and 8.  Tickets for these performances can be purchased on the Pottstown School District’s website.

Picture (L-R) Bob Decker, Casey Fenoglio, Aram Eker, Sherri Morret and Joe Rusiewicz

About FPE:   The Foundation for Pottstown Education’s (FPE) mission is to support, promote, sponsor and carry out educational, scientific or charitable activities and objectives within or related to the Pottstown School District. Visit www.foundationpottstowned.org for more information about the Foundation for Pottstown Education.  You can also follow FPE on Facebook and Twitter.

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